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11/16/2021

First Look: Shady Rays Opens First Brick-and-Mortar

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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Shady Rays is taking its online lifestyle eyewear brand offline.

Founded in 2012 as an e-commerce only business, the eyewear retailer has officially opened its flagship retail store, and first brick-and-mortar location, at 113 Marion located inside The Summit at Fritz Farm in Lexington, KY.

Officials gathered to celebrate the momentous occasion. Shady Rays CEO Chris Ratterman, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, State Representative Matt Lockett and other local and state dignitaries gathered to officially welcome customers into the first of many planned retail outlets for the retailer.

“Today, we celebrate the growth, expansion, and future of Shady Rays, not only in Lexington, but around the country,” Shady Rays CEO Chris Ratterman said. “I’m honored to bring our amazing brand to our loyal customers in Lexington and throughout Kentucky. They’ve been an integral part of our brand since day one and we can’t wait for them to experience even more that Shady Rays has to offer.”

The 1,000 square-foot retail environment showcases all frame and lens options from Shady Rays’ extensive collection of lifestyle and performance sunglasses and features seasonal availability of snow goggles and other outdoor wearables.

Staffed by knowledgeable brand enthusiasts, the store provides an in-person option for customers to exercise Shady Rays’ exclusive lost and broken replacement program. The replacement program has been a key differentiator for Shady Rays’ growth.

“Shady Rays was founded out of a spare bedroom right here in Kentucky, and last year the company was recognized as one of the fastest growing eyewear brands in the United States,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “What’s more, this business gives back to its community by fighting hunger with every order, with more than 20 million meals donated so far.”

A recent Resonate study found that despite increasing online shopping availability and COVID protocols, there has been a 27% increase since last winter in consumers browsing in stores. Ratterman agreed that in-person shopping is an important part of the retail mix.

“The in-person environment allows people to experience all aspects of the Shady Rays brand and product in a new way,” Ratterman continued. “Going from all e-commerce to brick-and-mortar could intimidate some, but we know that the time is right for Shady Rays. What our team has done to make this dream come to fruition is just extraordinary.”

Shady Rays offers a variety of frames and lenses, both lifestyle and sports performance-oriented, starting at $48. The brick-and-mortar store will also offer the brand’s popular $18 “Mystery Pair” addition to any regular-priced purchase, as well as extending Shady Rays’ ongoing practice to fight hunger in America through their contribution of 10 meals for every shades purchase going to Feeding America and other Global FoodBanking Network partners.